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Software Review: Camtasia Studio 8 From TechSmith

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Camtasia Studio has always been the premiere screen recording system on the market. It is a complete software solution for creating high-quality training videos, presentations, and screencasts that can be shared on the web, CD-ROM, as well as on portable media players. This is a major upgrade over the prior release Camtasia Studio 7 and portions of it have been rebuilt from the ground up.

Camtasia Studio has continues to give you the ability to record and capture what is happing on your screen as well as putting your captures together as a presentation that you could share with others. With the all the new features – almost two years in the making, it is so much more than a tool for video capture, but now it is a screen recording as well as video editing software product.

 

Camtasia Studio 8

 

What does Camtasia Studio actually do? It allows you to capture exactly what you are doing when working on your computer. You can perform tasks on your computer and record – using a microphone, your voice as well as capturing what you see on the screen. You have the ability to turn on various tools such as markers that highlight where you click or enhance the sound of the click so those who are watching will be able to follow along easier. Now with the addition of layers and other animation tools, you can really take your videos to a new level.

Once you have your video recorded, Camtasia Studio 8 has the tools that will allow you to edit your video and share it in a variety of formats. The number of file formats that are included in this version for both importing and exporting is much greater than ever before and it will give you much more flexibility. If you want, you can see a short overview of Camtasia Studio 8 and how it can be used.

So what is new with Camtasia Studio 8?

 

Camtasia Studio 8

 

• Smoother video recording – because of the completely rebuilt screen recording system gives you much more enhanced screen recordings. The playback smoothness has been dramatically improved providing better performance than ever before. Add to that, the efficiency of the recording has led to dramatically smaller video files – as much as 75% smaller. Even the graphic rendering portions of your video will be smoother as well.

• Multi-track timeline – will save you time and frustration by allowing you to construct videos faster. This new, much more versatile timeline offers you multiple tracks giving you the ability to add layers of depth to your video as never before. You can add call-outs, graphics, as well as other assets just by dragging them in. By having different layers you can add effects and animations easily. By having audio on separate levels, you can balance everything until it is just right.

• Media Asset Library – provides entirely new music, animated backgrounds, graphics, call-outs, and more all for your use. Each of the songs that come with the library has five different running lengths and they are professionally created tracks. The graphics and call-outs are themed to their respective backgrounds so you don’t have to worry about clashing styles. Everything just fits together. What’s more, you can also get more assets from the TechSmith website as well.

• Content Animation – can be a difficult proposition to deal with in video editors. Camtasia Studio 8 supports multiple video tracks which makes it easy to move and align objects that are stacked on top of each other. You have the ability to animate call-outs, create scrolling text, and ad motion to your presentations. This, in turn gives you the ability to direct the viewer’s attention to exactly where you want to.

 

Camtasia Studio 8

 

• Visual effects – will give you the ability to make your two-dimensional videos stand out among the crowd. Some of the effects include the ability to add shadows, adjust depth, opacity, and blurriness. Other effects include colorizing and adding boarders to provide additional emphasis to your presentation. Then when combined with the media asset library, you have a whole new dimension of freedom with which to be creative.

• TechSmith SmartPlayer – now provides the ability to introduce interactivity such as providing quizzes as well as the ability to playback on almost any kind of modern device. You have interactive hotspots that allow you to interconnect the video from one spot to another. You can link to any URL for adding supplemental content. The quizzing feature gives you the ability to gather information on your videos with a simple to use questionnaire. This can be sent directly via email for your collection. It also works with Screencast.com – TechSmiths hosting website.

• Production Wizard – gives you the ability to produce the exact video you want by letting you make sure you are producing everything just right. With the simplified production settings, you can be sure that your video will play back on the device that you want it to. You have also the choice between most compatibility for a wider range of devices, or higher quality.

Camtasia Studio 8 is an all in one solution for creating video screen-casts and with version 8 it has really raised the bar. You can import media, record from your screen, or record video from your webcam. It provides the ability to include quizzes as well as other information into your presentation. Of course Camtasia Studio 8 also has a lot of tutorial videos that will help you get up to speed fast.

 

Camtasia Studio 8

 

Camtasia Studio has always been hands-down the best screen capture program on the market and with this latest version, it has exceeded itself. It is very easy to use and will have you producing videos in no time. Because of this, I very highly recommend Camtasia Studio 8!

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.